The Parable of the Rich Fol – Luke 12:16-21 – Inductive Bible Study
16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19’And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”‘ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not richtoward God.”
- What title do you give to this parable?
The wrong kind of riches
Where is your storehouse?
The eternal perspective
Planning for the future
Are you rich toward God?
- What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?
Two builders – one was foolish
The hidden treasure – teaches what is truly valuable
The pearl of great price – teaches what is truly valuable
The unforgiving servant – temporal values
The workers in the vineyard – temporal values
The two sons – temporal values
The wicked vinedressers – temporal values
The wise and foolish virgins – lack of preparedness
The absent householder – the short term view
The good Samaritan – stored up his treasure in heaven
- Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?
Luke 12:1a Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all…
Though there were thousands of people present, He was speaking primarily to His disciples.
- What was the context for this parable?
Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 Then He said to them, ” Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16 And He told them a parable, saying,…
Jesus was asked to intervene in a family dispute about dividing the inheritance between brothers. Jesus recognized the real issue was covetousness and so gave this parable to warn against covetousness and to rather have an eternal perspective.
- What are the main elements of the parable and what does each represent?
- Rich man – One with material riches
- Very productive – God blessed his farm
- Reasoning to himself – Human wisdom
- What shall I do –
- No place to store my crops –
- This is what I’ll do –
- Tear down my barns –
- Build larger ones –
- Store my grain and my goods –
- I will say to my soul –
- Many goods laid up –
- Many years to come –
- Take your ease –
- Eat, drink and be merry –
- God –
- You fool! –
- This very night –
- Your soul –
- Required of you –
- Who will own –
- What you have prepared –
- So is the man –
- Stores up treasure –
- For himself –
- Not rich toward God –
- What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
- A fool is one whose plans end at the grave.
- Man’s carefully laid out plans can be instantly and forever upended by the Lord!
- You can’t take it with you, but you can send it ahead.
- The riches of this world will all pass away.
- The Judge of all the earth did not come to be the judge in petty civil matters.
- God is gracious to all, not just to His children.
- Cross references to this parable?
24 ” No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
1 Cor 2:14
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.
23 I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself,
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
30 There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the LORD.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But victory belongs to the LORD.
24 By faith Moses , when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, ” If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
6 “Surely every man walks about as a phantom;
Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
His glory will not descend after him.
4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
1 Tim 6:6-10
6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
2 Cor 8:9
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich , yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
- Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.
- What recommendation would you give to a man in this situation?
- What is the biblical definition of a fool?
- What should he have spent his life doing?
- If you were to die tonight, would you be ready?
- Why is the worldly “hope” of more materials and money flawed?
- What do you have to show God for what you have accomplished in your life?
- Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?
Absent Master of the House
Barren Fig Tree
Cost of Discipleship
Creditor and Two Debtors
The Growing Seed
Pharisee and Tax Collector
Rich Man and Lazarus
The Lost Coin
Wicked Vine Growers
We want to help you study the Bible, obey the Bible, and teach the Bible to others. We have therefore created a library of almost one thousand (and growing) inductive Bible studies, which are available for free. This takes a lot of time and hard work as well as the growing expense of running the website.
Help us continue to create Bible study resources by supporting Study and Obey for as little as $1.